THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY'S DREAM UP FESTIVAL PRESENTS
"THE DRAGON GRISWYND" BY CARRIE ROBBINS
A millennia-old dragon’s encounter with androids from humanity’s new home planet affirms the resilience and indomitable optimism of the spirit
WHERE AND WHEN:
NEW YORK, July 23 -- In “The Dragon Griswynd” by playwright/costume designer Carrie Robbins, a lone dragon--millenia old, last of his kind on earth, with fire-breathing capacities down to barely a puff--lives in a burned-out volcano. He is Griswynd. His encounter with androids from humanity’s new home planet affirms the resilience and indomitable optimism of the spirit. The play, a science fantasy, is a sly, playful, and poignant meditation on loss and loneliness. Theater for the New City’s Dream Up Festival will present its world premiere September 6 to 16, directed by Joe Sicari.
The Humans have damaged Earth beyond repair, and those who could have fled to a new planet: EarthAgain. Unbeknownst to Griswynd, there is a second creature hovering in the shadows of the Dragon’s Lair. Android T22EA-M, also known as “Frank,” is there to study the behavior of The Last Dragon on Earth. Suddenly T22EA-F, also called “Marcia,” appears from a spaceship. She’s come to take souvenir snapshots and to escort her fellow android back to EarthAgain. Griswynd, desperately lonely, begins to hatch a plan to convince the androids to take him to humanity’s new home planet with them. Griswynd is a once-powerful being facing his mortality, and his efforts show at once the loneliness of old age and the staying power of the uncrushable spirit.
Playwright/costume designer Carrie Robbins has dedicated most of her career to designing costumes for theater in the US and abroad, both for Broadway and Off-Broadway in the City. In 2012, she received the TDF/Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award for her body of work. Robbins has been nominated for two Tonies and two DramaDesk Awards, and won four of the latter. In 2011 she became the second costume designer ever to be granted a monograph on her designs by Amazon and DramaBookshop NYC. Robbins curated the NY Lincoln Center Library of Performing Arts Exhibit: “CURTAIN CALL: Celebrating a Century of Women Designing for Live Performance,” and was the author of the second half of the catalog (1949-2011). Robbins is known for the strength & skill of her character drawing, and her deep understanding of character translates to her writing. She is currently designing a new play about the Underground Railroad directed by Tazewell Thompson for Syracuse Stage this fall. www.daysofthegiants.com and www.carrierobbinsdesignageinc.com
Director Joe Sicari has directed Leslie Uggams in George Furth’s “Music Minus One”/pre-Broadway; “Da Da” (Ellen Stewart, LaMaMa); “Life and Times of Albert Einstein” (New Play Festival); “Plaza Suite” (Mike Ferrell, Shelley Fabares, Bonnie Franklin); “Sunshine Boys” (Harold Gould); “Creation of the World and Other Business” (Ed Asner, Pat Harrington); “The Price” (Barbara Bain); and“Round and Round the Garden” (Dramalogue Award for Best Direction). He is a member of SD&C.
Charles Turner* reprises his role as the Dragon Griswynd, which he has previously played at staged readings. Jenne Vath* plays the android T22EA-F a.k.a. Marcia, Steven Hauck* will play T22EA-M a.k.a. Frank, and Robert Meksin* will perform the part of the Voice Over.
The production features Charles Turner as the Dragon Griswynd. Turner is often the understudy for James Earl Jones, and he has spent much of the last few Broadway seasons in “You Can”t Take It with You” at Lincoln Center’s Beaumont, “On Golden Pond” with Leslie Uggams, “A Trip to Bountiful” with Cicely Tyson, and “The Gin Game”, also with Cecily Tyson. Last season Mr. Turner appeared in Broadway’s “The Little Foxes” with Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon. He was also part of the award-winning ensemble of Horton Foote’s “Orphan Home Trilogy” at The Signature. Mr. Turner has been featured in TV dramas such as “Law & Order,” “The Dave Chappelle Show,” “Sesame Street,” and recently “Mme. Secretary.” He has starred in many commercials, both on camera and in voice-overs.
Christopher Strattis and Heather M. Crocker will be the lighting designers and Strattis will do the projection design with Crocker’s assistance.
Composer Scott Munson’s work has been performed throughout the world in concert halls, theaters, film festivals, and on TV. His stage performances include shows at the Lincoln Center Library of the Performing Arts, the Joyce Theatre, and Carnegie Recital Hall. As an arranger, orchestrator, and music supervisor, his clients have included Branford & Wynton Marsalis, Harry Connick, Jr., and Pulitzer Prize winning composer Charles Wuorinen. His score for “Sawbones & The Diamond Eater” (Robbins, HERE/ NYC, 2014) won him the NY Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Composer of a Score for a Play. In this composition, Mr. Munson features the “empty world” theme as played on the Musical Saw by Natalia “The Saw Lady” Paruz, who has accompanied Zubin Mehta and the Israeli National Symphony Orchestra and has been heard in several film scores.
The ninth annual Dream Up Festival (www.dreamupfestival.org) is being presented by Theater for the New City from August 26 to September 16. An ultimate new work festival, it is dedicated to the joy of discovering new authors and edgy, innovative performances. Audiences savor the excitement, awe, passion, challenge and intrigue of new plays from around the country and around the world.
The festival does not seek out traditional scripts that are presented in a traditional way. It selects works that push new ideas to the forefront, challenge audience expectations and make us question our understanding of how art illuminates the world around us.
In addition to traditional plays, a unique and varied selection of productions will again be offered, drawing upon a variety of performance genres including musicals, puppetry and movement theater. The Festival's founders, Crystal Field and Michael Scott-Price, feel this is especially needed in our present time of declining donations to the arts, grants not being awarded due to market conditions, and arts funding cuts on almost every level across the country and abroad.
# # #Return to festival listings
Captioned, high-resolution photos of shows in this festival are available for download at: https://photos.app.goo.gl/e1pxCX4oeTwshVwn7
The festival's website is www.dreamupfestival.org.